Regulatory crackdown or ideological campaign?

What looked like a tech crackdown, broadened to a crackdown on large private firms, then to a wider regulatory push. This week it started to resemble a society-wide ideological campaign aimed at fortifying the nation’s people and economy. K-Pop fandoms are out. Xi Jinping Thought is in. Meanwhile, there’s growing talk that property tax plans are being revived.
Mark Williams Chief Asia Economist
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China Economics Weekly

Local governments prepare to step in

Evergrande creditors face a bumpy few weeks with a string of bond coupon payments due. Even if the company can scrape together the cash – not at all certain, given that it just missed one payment deadline – its chances of repaying the principal on bonds maturing early next year are low. Officials are initially pushing creditors to find a solution that allows work on ongoing projects to resume. But if that fails, the company will most likely be broken apart at the hands of local governments.

24 September 2021

China Economics Update

Most developers are not on the brink of default

With a couple of exceptions, most major developers are in a much stronger financial position than Evergrande and should be able to weather a temporary spike in their borrowing costs amid contagion fears. Successfully navigating the structural decline in housing demand over the coming decade will prove more challenging. A drawn-out consolidation of the sector over many years seems more likely than an imminent wave of developer failures.

Drop-In: Evergrande – What are the risks to China and the world? Chief Asia Economist Mark Williams and Senior China Economist Julian Evans-Pritchard will be joined by Senior Markets Economist Oliver Jones to take your questions about the Evergrande situation. They’ll be covering the implications of collapse for China’s financial system and growth outlook, and assessing the global markets fallout. Register here for the 0900 BST/1600 HKT session on Thursday, 23rd September.

22 September 2021

China Economics Update

Where might markets be wrong about Evergrande?

If Evergrande were to cause a financial or economic shock it would either be because policymakers failed to contain financial contagion or because the company’s collapse precipitated a much bigger decline in construction activity than most investors currently expect. The latter is probably the bigger risk and hinges on whether the company’s demise triggers a substantial drop in property sales.

22 September 2021

More from Mark Williams

China Economics Weekly

Delta wave may have peaked but it won’t be the last

Aggressive containment measures, mass testing and quarantine appear already to be bringing China’s Delta outbreak under control. The economic cost should be fleeting – but it will be felt beyond China’s shores due to the closure of another major port terminal. And it won’t be the last bout of disruption. Meanwhile, the People’s Bank is likely to deliver a policy signal early next week in the form of an MLF operation.

13 August 2021

China Data Response

China Inflation / Trade (Jul.)

Rising factory gate prices for electronics products signal that supply chains are still tight but, with both semiconductor imports to China and China’s exports of electronics rising over the past couple of months, constraints appear to have eased somewhat.

9 August 2021

China Economics Weekly

Delta disruption spreads as vaccine exports soar

Escalating efforts to contain China’s first Delta variant outbreak will hurt some sectors of the economy. But if they are as successful as they have been in the past, the overall damage will be fleeting and small. Meanwhile, a rise in infections classed as critical in China over recent days raises questions over whether China’s vaccines are as effective at reducing severity of infection from the Delta variant as several studies have shown they are against the regular variety. That matters beyond China’s borders: the government this week said that China is now exporting 200bn vaccine doses per month and that this pace will increase over the rest of the year.

6 August 2021
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